September 25, 2019 – Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper visited the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division and the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). This was Esper’s first visit to the shipyard since he was sworn in to lead the U.S. Department of Defense in July.
Esper toured Ford to see the progress being made during the ship’s post-shakedown availability and to learn more about its weapons-handling innovations and increased warfighting capabilities.
“Our shipbuilders play a vital role in building our Navy’s future fleet,” said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. “We appreciate that Secretary Esper took the time to visit our operations and Ford to see first-hand how we are working with our Navy partners to redeliver the newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that will be the centerpiece of our nation’s security strategy for decades to come.”